A great many of my clients come to me struggling with auto-immune issues. It’s an area of chronic illness that is (in my opinion) greatly mismanaged and even sometimes totally ignored by mainstream medicine. Many of my clients have expressed their deep frustration having been told that it’s either “all in their head” or “there’s nothing that can be done” or the most common suggestion being “maybe you should consider taking an anti-depressant”.
Let’s face it, auto immune conditions are notoriously challenging. This is because when you look at how these conditions start it’s not just one event that causes it. There are instead, a series of events that line up just to create what is often referred to as “the perfect storm”. It is postulated that there are three factors that need to be present for autoimmunity to develop:
1) Genetic predisposition
2) Exposure to antigen (trigger)
3) Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
In my experience being “genetically predisposed” is not the main problem. It’s more of a combination of the intestinal permeability and the triggers that cause the body no longer recognize itself from a foreign invader. This is actually quite good news because while it was once believed that autoimmune processes once activated become self-sustaining and irreversible; we now see that in many cases the autoimmune process can be stopped and reversed when the triggers are eliminated.
A great example of this is Coeliac disease where the vast majority of the symptoms resolve once the trigger (gluten) is removed from the diet. The other major component of all autoimmune conditions is the aspect of intestinal permeability. Sometimes this permeability is a result of the trigger, other times it is independent of it; the challenge is to work out what the triggers are. Using the analogy of an onion we often have to “continue to peel back layers” to reveal the underlying cause of the condition (which takes time).
Yes in navigating the way out of autoimmune disease it’s important to note that “one size does not fit all” What works really well for one person may be next to useless for another. Everyone has a unique biochemical makeup, and we just need to find the right mix. We have to accept that it’s a journey and we often stumble before we succeed.
So, where do we start? How do we go about finding the cause of autoimmune conditions? Well, we go through a checklist to assess the health and determine what types of changes need to implemented to see improvements. This checklist includes assessing inflammation, toxins and adrenal function; we also look at viral exposure history and gut symptoms, nutritional deficiencies and food triggers because ALL of these are factors that contribute to autoimmunity.
So if you are struggling with an autoimmune condition that’s become a pressing issue for you, send me a message or leave a comment, I am here to help.
Time and time again I hear people ask "why do I feel so bad when they tell me there's nothing wrong?" My goal is to help solve your health problems, to get to the bottom of things, not just symptom control but to bring about a return to good health.